Our People
Our People

We are a team of engineers and scientists, blending our diverse academic and professional backgrounds into building Empiric Capital together. Below are just four among our team, listed here somewhat arbitrarily. In addition to our full-time team, we share knowledge, resources and a technology campus with our partner Stone Three, a signal processing group known for working with companies such as GE, Apple or yet Anglo American. We also have several research partnerships in place in the areas of signal processing and machine learning.

Johan Pretorius Founder, Chairman

Prior to co-founding Empiric Capital Johan, electronics engineer by training, designed, patented and commercialized innovative antenna systems.

He started Omnipless Antenna Systems (Pty) Ltd. in Cape Town in 1994. Product focus evolved to aeronautical satellite communications systems for international airlines and commercial aircraft, using complex engineering skills and high reliability systems.

In 2001 Omnipless was sold to Cobham (FTSE 250), a leading global technology and services innovator, with Johan continuing to manage the South African company until 2006. Johan teamed up with one of his former colleagues at Omnipless, Marius, in 2013, when they founded Empiric Capital.

Gideon Nieuwoudt, CFA Co-Founder and Director

Gideon is the founder of Southern Right Capital and a co-founder and non-executive Director of Empiric Managed Capital. He serves as an independent advisor on the STANLIB Multi-Manager’s Alternative Assets Investment Committee and is a Director of the Accumulus Emerging Managers Fund. He served as the Director of Alternative Investment Solutions at Edmond de Rothschild Capital Holdings in the UK and was a partner and portfolio manager at Silver Creek Capital, a $7bn Alternative Investment manager for 6 years. Prior  to which he was the deputy head of the alternative investment manager research team at Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) for the then $35bn investment platform. He began his alternative investment career at Watson Wyatt (now Willis Towers Watson), where he ended up heading the hedge fund research group during his 7-year
tenure. Prior, he worked for Sanlam in South Africa
and Old Mutual in the UK.

Marius van Wyk, CFA Founder, CEO & CTO

A Cum Laude graduate in Electric and Electronic Engineering, Marius started his career in 2001 at Omnipless Antenna Systems in Cape Town, South Africa as a research and development engineer.

He was responsible for key components in the company’s international satellite communications solutions, which is still in use by major international airline and aircraft companies across the world.

In 2008 Marius left development engineering to take up a career in investment management. He joined a boutique asset management firm. At first, he was
an equities analyst, responsible for the resources and financial sectors. His role progressed over the years, ultimately becoming the portfolio manager of two funds, a balanced and a quant fund with global mandates. In 2013, alongside Johan, he co-founded Empiric Capital and started its research and development program.

Alexandru Agachi Co-Founder and COO

Alexandru first trained in hedge funds analysis by the then deputy head of alternative investment research at UBP, Gideon Nieuwoudt.

After his studies at LSE, he spent several more years in graduate studies and research. He completed 4 graduate / post graduate degrees in technology and science, including the thorium nuclear fuel cycle, surgical robotics, neuroanatomy, medical imagery and biomedical innovation.

He is also a guest lecturer in Big Data at Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, and regularly speaks at conferences on technical topics ranging from quantitative investing to automation to statistics.

Johan Pretorius Founder, Chairman

Prior to co-founding Empiric Capital Johan, electronics engineer by training, designed, patented and commercialized innovative antenna systems.

He started Omnipless Antenna Systems (Pty) Ltd. in Cape Town in 1994. Product focus evolved to aeronautical satellite communications systems for international airlines and commercial aircraft, using complex engineering skills and high reliability systems.

In 2001 Omnipless was sold to Cobham (FTSE 250), a leading global technology and services innovator, with Johan continuing to manage the South African company until 2006. Johan teamed up with one of his former colleagues at Omnipless, Marius, in 2013, when they founded Empiric Capital.

Marius van Wyk, CFA Founder, CEO & CTO

A Cum Laude graduate in Electric and Electronic Engineering, Marius started his career in 2001 at Omnipless Antenna Systems in Cape Town, South Africa as a research and development engineer.

He was responsible for key components in the company’s international satellite communications solutions, which is still in use by major international airline and aircraft companies across the world.

In 2008 Marius left development engineering to take up a career in investment management. He joined a boutique asset management firm. At first, he was
an equities analyst, responsible for the resources and financial sectors. His role progressed over the years, ultimately becoming the portfolio manager of two funds, a balanced and a quant fund with global mandates. In 2013, alongside Johan, he co-founded Empiric Capital and started its research and development program.

Gideon Nieuwoudt, CFA Co-Founder and Director

Gideon is the founder of Southern Right Capital and a co-founder and non-executive Director of Empiric Managed Capital. He serves as an independent advisor on the STANLIB Multi-Manager’s Alternative Assets Investment Committee and is a Director of the Accumulus Emerging Managers Fund. He served as the Director of Alternative Investment Solutions at Edmond de Rothschild Capital Holdings in the UK and was a partner and portfolio manager at Silver Creek Capital, a $7bn Alternative Investment manager for 6 years. Prior  to which he was the deputy head of the alternative investment manager research team at Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) for the then $35bn investment platform. He began his alternative investment career at Watson Wyatt (now Willis Towers Watson), where he ended up heading the hedge fund research group during his 7-year
tenure. Prior, he worked for Sanlam in South Africa
and Old Mutual in the UK.

Alexandru Agachi Co-Founder and COO

Alexandru first trained in hedge funds analysis by the then deputy head of alternative investment research at UBP, Gideon Nieuwoudt.

After his studies at LSE, he spent several more years in graduate studies and research. He completed 4 graduate / post graduate degrees in technology and science, including the thorium nuclear fuel cycle, surgical robotics, neuroanatomy, medical imagery and biomedical innovation.

He is also a guest lecturer in Big Data at Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, and regularly speaks at conferences on technical topics ranging from quantitative investing to automation to statistics.

Empiric Managed Capital Advisors Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (710579).
Empiric Capital SA (Pty) Ltd is an authorized financial services provider. Read Disclaimer. To receive a copy of our conflicts of interest policy, please contact [email protected].

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